Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

Dila Djuraeva

Stops: ol'Vine, Cafe Ole, Mondo's, El Chico

$91.80 Challenger
$91.80 Challenger
April 28, 2018

The Mission: So providing an envelope of cash and telling people to spend it in 48 hours isn’t exactly a challenge, but it makes this assignment sound a lot more interesting. Spend $91.80 (we used the local area code for the amount) in two days. And if they could find fun and free activities ... bonus. The only catch was that they had to spend it at places, events or shops profiled in the April 2018 issue of Preview 918.

The Team: Dila Djuraeva and Rachel Brazelton

I am from Russia, love food and am really into trying new things. And what’s a better plan for a weekend than exploring local restaurants and tasting new dishes?

Stop #1: It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and spending time on Brookside sounded like the best plan to my best friend, Rachel, and me. We started at ol’Vine Fresh Grill with an Asian chicken salad and some stuffed mushrooms. The salad was so big and was a perfect balance between cold, warm, soft and crispy. I like mushrooms, cheese and meat, so it’s hard for me not to like the combination. But those stuffed mushrooms were the best I’ve ever tried. They were really packed with a lot of cheese and sausage and were served in a hot pan. I may not be allowed at this place anymore because I was shamelessly scratching the cheese from the bottom of the pan after finishing the mushrooms. So good.
Cost: $25

Stop #2: With starters out of the way, we walked north on Peoria Avenue to Café Ole for the main meal. For some reason, I was expecting to see something similar to ol’Vine, but I was intrigued when we walked in and realized Café Ole had a completely different concept. I’ve traveled a lot in Europe, and Café Ole felt more like Southern Europe than Tulsa; that’s how unique it was.

Between the heavy rain outside, a wood-burning fireplace in the outside covered patio, not a lot of people around, interesting decorations and quiet music, it was perfect. In addition to that, we got a menu with a lot of items we haven’t seen before. We chose the salmon Caesar wrap and the molcajete.

The wrap was surprisingly fresh and with enough flavor and greens, with a bonus of colorful rice and some salsa and chips.

But let’s talk about molcajete. I decided to get it just because I’ve never seen this name before and I like surprises. Apparently, it is pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, and veggie stew topped with scallions and cheese, and it is a life changer. We really liked how rich the flavor was and how different it tasted from everything else we’ve tried before.
Cost: $31

Stop #3: We were excited to walk (or waddle, after eating so much) down the street and hunt for dessert. Our pick was the Italian restaurant Mondo’s. I accepted long ago that it’s not easy to find authentic tiramisu in the United States. So why not challenge another place?

Mondo’s is very cool with many old-style pictures, a black and white movie playing on the wall, and nice music.

Rachel ordered cannoli and I went with tiramisu. The cannoli was crispy, but not too sweet. We had some fun trying to figure out if we should stab these rolls or eat them with our hands.

The tiramisu was beyond my expectations; so rich, so perfect and so yummy. I asked our waitress what type of mascarpone cheese they used and, apparently, it is imported from Italy. Whatever recipe they are using, it tasted just right, and I think this tiramisu is a win for me.

We were completely satisfied with our desserts, full and happy. Even after we were done with our yummy dishes, it was nice to spend just a little more time in this place and enjoy the wonderful Italian atmosphere.
Cost: $20

Stop #4: After realizing that we still had some money to spend, we decided to have a drink. Yes, it was Sunday. Yes, it was a restaurant, not a bar. And yes, it was still daytime. But no judgment here, right? We went to El Chico on 21st Street and had a huge ultimate margarita. The bartender was super friendly and knowledgeable about the selections. The drink itself was strong and delicious.
Cost: $15

Think you can blow our cash in an interesting way? Like us on Facebook and drop a message with some of your ideas. We might just lace your pockets with green and turn you loose.